MONTREAL – Mike Babcock will have an all-star cast to work with at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
A source told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that Ken Hitchcock, Lindy Ruff and Jacques Lemaire will serve as assistant coaches under Babcock for the Canadian men’s hockey team. The entire coaching staff will be formally unveiled Thursday.
Hitchcock, a head coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, was an assistant with the Canadian team that won gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Hitchcock previously coached the Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers and led Canada to a second-place finish at the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Ruff, who has coached the Buffalo Sabres since the 1997-98 season, guided Canada to a silver medal at this year’s IIHF World Hockey Championship last month.
Lemaire has coached more than 1,100 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild, and won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995. He stepped down as Wild head coach at the end of the season after missing the playoffs.
A source told The Canadian Press earlier this week that Babcock, who has coached the Detroit Red Wings the past four seasons, will be named head coach of the Olympic team.
The foursome will be looking to improve on Canada’s seventh-place finish at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy – its worst-ever showing at the Games.